World Wide Study Bible


a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary

13At that moment there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Select a resource above

13. "In that same hour"; literally, "the hour."

great earthquake—answering to the "great earthquake" under the sixth seal, just at the approach of the Lord (Re 6:12). Christ was delivered unto His enemies on the fifth day of the week, and on the sixth was crucified, and on the sabbath rested; so it is under the sixth seal and sixth trumpet that the last suffering of the Church, begun under the fifth seal and trumpet, is to be consummated, before she enters on her seventh day of eternal sabbath. Six is the number of the world power's greatest triumph, but at the same time verges on seven, the divine number, when its utter destruction takes place. Compare "666" in Re 13:18, "the number of the beast."

tenth part of the city fell—that is, of "the great city" (Re 16:19; Zec 14:2). Ten is the number of the world kingdoms (Re 17:10-12), and the beast's horns (Re 13:1), and the dragon's (Re 12:3). Thus, in the Church-historical view, it is hereby implied that one of the ten apostate world kingdoms fall. But in the narrower view a tenth of Jerusalem under Antichrist falls. The nine-tenths remain and become when purified the center of Christ's earthly kingdom.

of menGreek, "names of men." The men are as accurately enumerated as if their names were given.

seven thousandElliott interprets seven chiliads or provinces, that is, the seven Dutch United Provinces lost to the papacy; and "names of men," titles of dignity, duchies, lordships, &c. Rather, seven thousand combine the two mystical perfect and comprehensive numbers seven and thousand, implying the full and complete destruction of the impenitent.

the remnant—consisting of the Israelite inhabitants not slain. Their conversion forms a blessed contrast to Re 16:9; and above, Re 9:20, 21. These repenting (Zec 12:10-14; 13:1), become in the flesh the loyal subjects of Christ reigning over the earth with His transfigured saints.

gave glory to the God of heaven—which while apostates, and worshipping the beast's image, they had not done.

God of heaven—The apostates of the last days, in pretended scientific enlightenment, recognize no heavenly power, but only the natural forces in the earth which come under their observation. His receiving up into heaven the two witnesses who had power during their time on earth to shut heaven from raining (Re 11:6), constrained His and their enemies who witnessed it, to acknowledge the God of heaven, to be God of the earth (Re 11:4). As in Re 11:4 He declared Himself to be God of the earth by His two witnesses, so now He proves Himself to be God of heaven also.